In My Own Words

Here you will find my thoughts, reflections, comments, ideas and  interpretations on life.


I’m old enough to have been witness to many shifts in social beliefs. I was in High School when the 1968 Democratic Convention turned into a blood bath. I was in the military when we left Viet Nam and Nixon resigned. The War on Drugs was put on steroids as I was becoming a lawyer in the 1980’s and during the Clinton anti-crime period. I was lucky enough to meet, and befriend, Todd Mikuriya and I read his marijuana papers, which opened my eyes to much. I became an avid reader of the history of drug prohibition, especially cannabis prohibition, and my tenure as an attorney has witnessed some of the horrors of the criminal war against human conduct that has fallen all too often on the poor and minorities.

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I was sent to seven different jails, prisons or other institutions over the course of my 52 months in custody. The food was bad, the accommodations were horrible, I was witness to corruption, inefficiencies, worthless programs, including drug treatment programs and generally wasting time for inmates.I learned that prison solves little, deters less and creates as many, if not more, problems than it is supposed to solve.

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I see a time when logic and science is holding the attention of policy makers, as well as voters. The hysteria and hobgoblins are still out there, doing damage. However, common sense and fiscal responsibility are becoming strange bedfellows in the fight to reverse how drugs are treated in our society and the world.

Entering the courthouse for surrender 2011
I wish I could tell you that I wasn’t afraid, but so many things were unknown and that alone would leave anyone fear stricken. I gathered my children and our family walked towards the door of the courthouse. Just before walking in I turned, to the small crowd which had gathered, and waved before we walked into the big metal doors.

AUMA is far from perfect and I worry about the very sick and my physician friends that recommend, as people switch from medical to recreational. I believe with attention to the regulation process, the major problems can be avoided.

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Opioids are effective for pain, until they’re not available, and then you’re Johnsing like a heroin addict…